Climate change caused by the worldwide increase in temperatures generates numerous negative effects on the earth. According to the research by Zurich University of Technology, afforestation is said to be the most effective and inexpensive way to deal with climate change. This is because the plant is called the largest refinery of carbon dioxide and a large reservoir of oxygen. Trees absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide as they grow and release that amount of oxygen.
Ethiopia, a country with a population of 100 million in sub-Saharan Africa, launched a tree-planting campaign in July 2019 led by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali. Many Ethiopians volunteered and planted over 350 million trees in a single day across Ethiopia, set a new world record, exceeded the record of planting 66 million trees a day in India in 2017.
Ethiopia’s forest area was accounted for 35% of the country in the early 20th century. In the 2000s, 100 years later, due to the influence of farmland development caused by the agricultural use of burned fields, the coverage has been decreased to 4%. For the passage from this stage, Prime Minister Abiy launched the “Green Legacy Initiative” in May last year, aims to plant 4 billion trees, 40 trees per head, by October 2019 in order to combat deforestation and climate change. As part of this initiative, the government conducted a tree-planting campaign in July 2019 and planted more than 350 million trees just in a single day.
Africa is one of the continents that is greatly affected by climate change worldwide. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, since its establishment in 1972, as a driving force for international cooperation in environmental protection activities. Many African countries have launched large-scale tree-planting campaigns with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme but Ethiopia’s actions have been regarded as the most aggressive one in Africa so far. Other African countries should also move with speed and deal with the status quo.
Developed countries also provide assistance to developing countries that are vulnerable to climate change. For mainstreaming disaster risk management (DRM) in developing countries, Japan, together with the World Bank, provides the financial and technical support they need. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is also working on various related projects, such as the Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management, in developing countries that have not been able to cope with the effects of climate change.
A study found that in 2017, over 2 million animals died in Ethiopia due to drought because of the scarcity of rainfall. The horrors of this climate change lead to the mind change of Ethiopians to take the Green initiative for fighting against deforestation. Prime Minister Abiy’s mass tree planting won the hearts and minds of many Ethiopians across the country. And hence a large number of people took part in the initiative to fight against deforestation and climate change. Now, although it is unclear whether the government has reached the target of four billion, at this time, the most important part of the initiative to realize a green and clean environment is to preserve the Ethiopian trees. Only then every Ethiopian can hope that the good effect of these planted trees will have in the future.